Backyard Wilderness

Giant Screen 3D Film for Science Centers and Museums

accompanied by an online classroom and activity guide

WOW! Better than David Attenborough!! Never thought I would get to say that!
— Douglas Tallamy, Entomologist and Author of "Bringing Home Nature"
Truly beautiful work.
— Richard Louv, Author of "Last Child in the Woods" and Co-Founder of the Children & Nature Network

Backyard Wilderness is a 40-minute Giant Screen film and multi-platform educational initiative about the great web of life that surrounds and sustains us, but which we have forgotten how to see.  Set in and around a typical home and neighborhood pond, it is an entertaining and poignant story that reveals with captivating imagery the miracles that unfold right under our noses each year in backyards across America – whether we see them or not. 

And there’s evidence that more and more, we don’t see them. It’s probable that in the Eastern U.S., more people now live in closer proximity to wildlife in than in any other place on Earth, and at any other time in history. Yet ironically, we are more disconnected from nature than ever before. Unstructured playtime outdoors has all but vanished from childhood. The average American kid now spends over seven hours a day in front of a screen. Child obesity is on the rise and diagnoses of depression and hyperactivity are multiplying at alarming rates. Perhaps most tellingly, the average American kid can name over 300 commercial brands, but only ten native plant and animal species that live in their neighborhood. All this has led researchers to coin a term that would have been unimaginable even a generation ago: Nature Deficit Disorder.

Backyard Wilderness will address that deficit head-on, reconnecting our kids to nature by allowing them to experience the world through animal eyes and at nature’s pace, inspiring a new sense of wonder and commitment to understanding the world right outside their back door.

Coyote Pups_11.jpg
DSC00046.jpg

Distribution & Educational Outreach

Backyard Wilderness will be distributed by SK Films, a leader in the Giant Screen film industry and the distributor of Flight of the Butterflies, the most watched educational Giant Screen film of the last four years which grossed over $30 million. Our film will be screening at science centers and museums worldwide.

The film is just the beginning of what we have to offer audiences, because Backyard Wilderness is far more than just a movie. It’s a comprehensive, multi-platform educational effort that includes a companion web-based curriculum and activity guide for classroom use that will allow teachers and students to explore the STEAM related themes of the story in greater detail. There will also be digital tools for interactive learning: live-action animal-cams that allow viewers to follow the comings and goings of their backyard neighbors in real time, a citizen science app, a conservation themed game for mobile devices, and an educational virtual reality experience.

Advisors on Backyard Wilderness

Richard Louv Journalist and author of Last Child in the Woods, The Nature Principle, Vitamin N, Founder of Children & Nature Network

Bernd Blossey, PhD Associate Professor, Department of Natural Resources, Cornell University, focuses on Biological invasions and Conservation Biology

Douglas Tallamy, PhD Professor and Chair of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology, University of Delaware, author of Bringing Nature Home

Eleanor Sterling, PhD Chief Conservation Scientist at the Center for Biodiversity & Conservation, American Museum of Natural History

Michael Rubbo, PhD Clinical Associate Professor of Environmental Studies and Science, focuses on the Ecology of Suburban Ecosystems

IN DEVELOPMENT

Gorilla Girl

Gorilla Girl interweaves the intimate story of a mountain gorilla family in breathtaking Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda, with one of their devoted caretakers—a young Rwandan forest ranger named Josie. Innovative conservation science has led mountain gorillas to become the only great ape species with an increasing population, and gorilla tourism has brought schools and clinics to the surrounding Rwandan communities. Josie brings visitors up the volcano to meet the gorillas face to face. She also helps the group Gorilla Doctors vaccinate the apes against human disease. It’s a delicate undertaking, but with gorillas sharing 98.4 percent of their DNA with humans, conservationists now promote the interconnected health of both species. Featuring cutting-edge science in ecology, genetics and epidemiology, Gorilla Girl is an inspiring story of our interdependence with nature, and how saving one of the Earth’s most majestic species can lift the fortunes of an entire human population.

Tiger Trek: Bhutan 3D

Tiger Trek: Bhutan 3D takes viewers on an immersive 3D giant screen journey into the remote Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan. It tells a lyrical conservation story that follows the coming of age of a young monk, Tshering, as he grows to understand the people, plants and animals he encounters on a trek across a country early explorers called Shangri-La. Along the way, we discover a critically endangered Bengal tiger and her cubs in the foothills of Everest. We journey through virgin forests, along sparkling rivers, and soar past gravity-defying temples where nature is being celebrated in vibrant ceremonial festivals that date back to the 12th century. We discover Bhutan’s delicate balance between urbanization and tradition, in a land where Gross National Happiness reigns over Gross National Product. Tiger Trek: Bhutan 3D will inspire a sense of awe for the harmony that can be created between people and their environments everywhere.